alsoran runners The day before

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I belong to a very festive club.  Any excuse for a get together and our members are there.  With this in mind (and because we travelled all the way to Durban) we get together one last time before the big race, the Comrades marathon.

Andy, my hubby, usually books a local restaurant and we all meet there at the arranged time.  What follows is a festive breakfast with last minute advice and instruction.  Our support crews and families are also present and they make their own plans for supporting and seconding the next day.  This team breakfast knocks off a few hours of the day.  Before we leave we usually take some group photos before saying goodbye to our club mates who we will hopefully meet up with at some point during the race the following day. 

And then it happens!  We all go into ‘stealth’ mode.  The rest of the day is usually spent preparing our running gear, pinning on race numbers, stocking up the goody bag, mixing muti (if you are into that stuff) and basically ensuring everything is in place for the next day.  I chill by just relaxing with my feet up.  As the Comrades marathon is now run on a Sunday, there is usually some sporting event on TV and we pop down to the local pub to watch.  Since we are not planning on winning the race, we may indulge in a beer or two.  It helps with the relaxation.

We usually prepare an early meal for supper (sometimes it’s a braai) and may have a beer or a glass of wine with said meal.  Don't eat anything 'dodge' for supper!  Part of my night before routine is to read through the race brochure and instructions as a last minute “brushing up” or “revision” for what is to come the next day.

I set two alarms, my cell phone alarm and my running watch alarm.  It does help when sharing accommodation as you are less likely to oversleep as your fellow occupants will hopefully wake you!  I ‘remind’ myself to relax and that it is important to get a good night’s sleep.  It seems to work for me!  I guess I’m really lucky.

If you are one of those folk who battle to fall asleep, just try and relax as best you can.  I have found some good homeopathic stuff on the market that works well for promoting healthy sleeping patterns.

I think the bottom line is to try not to change your normal Saturday routine (within reason).  Doing everything totally different to what you are used to doing is more likely to leave you unsettled in the evening and throughout the night.


Key words: Comrades marathon, the day before, relaxation, alarm
Internal links:
goody bag, support crew, running watch
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website




Copyright Nikki Campbell 2008
alsoran@webafrica.org.za